Childhood memory: One day while playing on the farm, I pulled up a thick plastic mat that my grandpa had put over a muddy area so that the tractor wouldn’t get stuck in the mud. To my delight, I found a nest of baby snakes! I filled my pockets with them and ran home to show Mom. The spanking that resulted left a memorable impression.
I had an exciting day today. I was walking around in my garden, minding my own business, when I put my hand down into a patch of bush beans to see how the beans under the foliage were coming along. Instinctively, I jumped back and squealed when I saw a coiled up snake right by where my hand had been. I immediately ran to the house to get my phone to take a picture. Then I got a rake and pulled the snake out to the path so I could see it’s markings and get better pictures. It was only after I had done this that I did a google search to verify that I was playing with a copperhead and read that you shouldn’t poke at them with sticks because they can strike at long distances.
Then I did another silly thing. I posted a picture on facebook. Within seconds, several people commented with horror and fascination. After two hours I had a long string of comments under my post: oohs and ahhhs, eeeks and yikes, advice, warnings, informative website links, and best of all, humor. I admit, the snake posed handsomely and looked right at the camera, so this was a stellar picture. Look it up if you like, but I’m not posting it here. Instead you get my lovely Velvet Queen Sunflowers.
I began thinking about what I fear the most. Even a picture of a spider terrifies me, so I felt a twinge of guilt about posting the scary snake picture and how I might have ruined someone’s day. A big spider in close proximity will make me jumpy for hours. Bad dreams ensue. Logic plays no part in fear. I should’ve feared the snake but I didn’t. I shouldn’t fear the spider but I do. It’s easy to justify our fears and there is no end to the things to fear.
This post doesn’t have a moral, or even a point really. I just get so excited when I have a wildlife sighting that I want to share it. Encounters with creatures beyond our control make us feel alive!